Twenty or Two-Thousand

Is there an established etiquette for the way we will pronounce the new years ahead?

Twenty-Ten or Two-Thousand-Ten? Two-Thousand-One or Twenty-Oh-One? I’m sure we said Nineteen-Ten vs. One-Thousand-Nine Hundred-Ten.

So what will it be?


While I was reading some articles on the Y2K problem, some people mentioned this is passing.

There doesn’t seem to be an agreement on it,Bubba.

My guess is it will be the shortest form.


My vote will be twenty ought one for 2001, twenty ten for 2010, and two thousand twenty for 2020 (do you want to get sued?)

For 2000, I’ll just say two thousand, except when I feel like being funny, when I will say twenty double ought.

Most people I have heard are saying Two Thousand One. Or Two Thousand Ten. The real question is are they going to say two thousand or THE YEAR two thousand

Since everyone is Y2K crazy, the year 2000 will probably be called 2K, then 2K1 for 2001, 2K2, 2K3, 2K4…

I think you might be right, Louie. I can’t imagine Americans going back to “ought”. My guess is “two-thousand one”, etc. That’s how everyone says the Stanley Kubrik/Arthur C. Clarke movie, isn’t it?

p.s. The only time I’ve ever heard “ought” used seriously (in the sense of “zero”) is in the name of the .30-06 rifle. When I was a kid I thought it was a “thirty yacht six”. For use on boats or something, I guess.

“Finally, consider Kottke’s voice which sounds like geese farts on a muggy day.”
Leo Kottke
6- And 12-String Guitar

I think it’s gonna be a moot point. Aren’t we all supposed to be taken to our makers before that happens?

One complete set of morals for sale to highest bidder, new in box.

At the very least I’m going to wait until they get the lights back on before I start worrying about this.

I’ve already started referring to the years following two thousand (I can’t bring myself to call it “twenty hundred”) as twenty-whatever.

Chaim Mattis Keller

“Sherlock Holmes once said that once you have eliminated the
impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be
the answer. I, however, do not like to eliminate the impossible.
The impossible often has a kind of integrity to it that the merely improbable lacks.”
– Douglas Adams’s Dirk Gently, Holistic Detective

Any predictions on this matter will be just a wild guess, but it seems most likely to me that the years 2000-2009 will use “two thousand,” which will change to “twenty” starting in 2010.

The reason is that “twenty one” would be confused with 21. Same sort of confusion up through 2009. However, “twenty ten” is less ambiguous.

They ran a poll in a local newspaper, and the winner was “zip one, zip two,” etc.

I wonder if the Canadians will call it “zed one…?”

" <— My own personal quote. I call him Doug.

I’ve got to agree with RealityChuck on what years will be called what, but not entirely on his reasoning.

‘Twenty - oh/ought - one’ simply isn’t as euphonous as ‘Ninteen - oh/ought - one’.

Conversely, ‘Ninteen Hundred and One or One Thousand, Nine Hundred and One’ is not as euphonous as ‘Two Thousand and One’.

And of course, ‘Twenty Ten’ and ‘Ninteen Ten’ both sound good and are easier to say than ‘Two Thousand/Nineteen Hundred and Ten’.

‘They couldn’t hit an Elephant from this dist…!’

Last words of General John Sedgwick

It’s down to the media, I guess. They tend to be the ones that define things like this, especially in News items.

Whatever it will be will happen naturally - and there’s bound to be factions that will obstinately, or culturally, go against the majority.

I’ll probably say Two Thousand and… unless the majority chooses something else, in which case I’ll go with the flow.

“So what you are telling me, Percy, is that something you have never seen is slightly less blue than something else that you have never seen.”


Still amazes me that our city thinks Millennium is the year 2000.

2000=our measuring system

So that now that we are in the year 2000 has this been decided. I say Two thousand. And Two thousand one. Sounds cooler than Twenty O One

Informally, I have been using Oh-1, Oh-2 for a while, as in Class of Oh-2. “Aught” just sounds too Grandpa Simpson–“It was back in nineteen-dickety-two! We had to say ‘dickety’, because the Kaiser had taken our word for ‘twenty’!”

Otherwise, I think it will be two-thousand-x for 1<x<13, and twenty-x for x=>13. I like “two thousand four” better than “twenty-oh-four”, but “twenty-twenty-six” better than “two-thousand-twenty-six”.

Besides, we have to think ahead! 2126 will definitely be “twenty-one-twenty-six”, rather than “two-thousand-one-hundred-twenty-six”. (Rapture, schmapture!)

Dr. J

PS: It also makes that really godawful song work out–“In the year two thousand five hundred twenty five, if man is still alive. . .” Just doesn’t work.

I refer to years in the 11th Century as Ten-O-One or Ten-Sixty-six or whatever. (Although 1000AD is usually called “The Year One Thousand”.) I think the inclination to call next year “Two Thousand-One” is just the result of how people spoke aloud the title of “200l, A Space Odyssey”. Note that the title uses numerical figures and really gives no clue as to how the title should be spoken.